A red tablecloth with loose part arranged in star patterns

Loose Parts have been a huge part of our culture at Frog Hollow. The children in our programs are used to the concept of Loose Parts and when a new child joins the group, they immediately find their way around with the beautiful material.

This Fall, we had the pleasure of operating a new School Age program. We welcomed a whole group of new school-age children.

For us, it was very interesting to see the children’s first reactions to the Loose Parts we were so used to and took for granted.

We noticed that at first the children didn’t know what to do with the material. For a good while they left the material alone, perhaps thinking they were too beautiful or fragile. Or maybe not knowing what their purpose was.

Eventually children started taking the material out. Immediately, they started searching for glue and asking if they could make things to take the material home. This came almost as a surprise for us – we had forgotten that the material we use so commonly may not be so familiar for some children.

We had to take time to explain to children to think about the process rather than the product.

We challenged them to make beautiful things without using glue. To think about these materials as part of our beautiful environment that stays with us, in our community, so we can continue to work with them in the next days.

What was most amazing was that the children picked up on this so quickly. Of course children are so flexible and generous with their ideas. They welcomed the invitation with a little hesitation, but also with absolute joy. And they started making magical creations.

The small, colourful, simple and beautiful pieces brought groups of children together as they explored the possibilities rather than focusing on one final product.

Kids displaying their creations made with wooden boxes and loose parts